Second road easement for Commonage land approved

A court appeal continues to block the sale of Queenstown Hill's Commonage land, but a proposed new road will make it more attractive to potential buyers.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has approved an easement for a second road into the 9.5ha block, which has commanding views over central Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.

The road would extend from the end of Kerry Dr and pass through an area of recreation reserve before reaching the Commonage land.

A council report says the only legal road into the land at present is Vancouver Dr, and feedback from potential buyers last year indicated a second road was needed, particularly for sections on the land's western side.

Owned by the council, the land is smothered by wilding pines, but is expected to sell for close to $20million.

Last year, after a nine-month marketing campaign and five formal offers, the council said it did not receive a "satisfactory'' offer.

In his report for councillors last month, property adviser Daniel Cruickshank said the road would improve the land's "desirability'' before it was put back on the market.

"Council wishes to maximise the return it receives from the Commonage block to assist in funding infrastructure projects over coming years.''

But first the council must resolve a zoning wrangle.

Independent commissioners last year recommended the land be rezoned as medium-density residential, but a Vancouver Dr property owner appealed.

Mr Cruickshank said negotiations with the appellant were continuing, with road access to the Commonage land also being a "point of consideration''.

The road would accommodate a new public walking track to the point where it connected with the existing Queenstown Hill trail.

Beyond that point it would only be used by vehicles going into the Commonage land, and Vancouver Dr would remain the future subdivision's main access road.

The final conditions of the easement would be agreed between the council and the developer, with the period for registration limited to a period of 10 years, he said.

In the short term, the right-of-way easement approved for the road gave the council an opportunity to provide about 20 more car parks for people walking the Queenstown Hill track.

A car park could be formed directly off Kerry Dr, along with a linking trail to the Queenstown Hill track.

guy.williams@odt.co.nz

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